The winter months can be a difficult time for everyone, and that includes your dog. If your dog is older (between five and ten years old) they may be even more sensitive to cold. You can keep your older dog warm, cozy and healthy by protecting them from the elements, helping them stay comfortable at home and working to keep the body in good shape. With just a little attention, both you and your pet can weather the winter with ease.
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[ Edit ] Protect your dog from the elements
- Learn more about your breed's sensitivity to cold. Some dog breeds will be more affected by the cold than others. Determine your breed's susceptibility to the cold to know what precautions you need to take. Older dogs will always be a little more sensitive than younger dogs of the same breed. 
- In general, the bigger your dog is, the better they will be at tolerating cold.
- The amount of fur your dog has also plays a role. Breeds such as malamutes, huskies and chow chows, with thick coats, are especially well suited to cold weather. Short-haired dogs, like chihuahuas, are quite sensitive to cold.
- Dress your dog in dog clothes. A common and simple way to help keep your dog warm is to give them a dog shirt or jacket. These garments can help keep your dog's core warm and keep them comfortable. This can be a good option for older dogs who have trouble staying warm. 
- Dog clothes are available in pet stores, specialty stores and online.
- Be sure to keep your dog's clothes warm and dry. Moist sweaters or jackets can actually make your dog cooler.
- Use booties to protect your dog's paws and feet. An additional level of protection is to place warm boots on the dog's feet. This can be especially useful if your dog doesn't like to walk on the cold ground, or if you notice it cracking or bleeding from their paws. This discomfort can be quite common in older animals, so consider placing booties on your older dog. 
- Take shorter walks when the weather is cold. Older dogs will be able to tolerate cold weather for a short time, but it is best not to overdo it. If the temperature is low or the conditions are wet and icy, consider taking a shorter walk than you normally would. Alternatively, if your dog can wait, you can postpone your walk until the weather clears. 
- It is a good idea to check the temperature before going out. 
- If it's freezing, you might want to postpone your walk.
[ Edit ] Help your dog stay comfortable
- Keep your dog inside. When dogs are left outside, their ears, paws and faces are particularly prone to frostbite. The best way to keep your older dog warm and healthy during the winter months is to keep them indoors. Older dogs are more sensitive to cold than younger dogs, so it's a good idea to keep your older dog in your home, especially overnight. 
- Provide adequate outdoor shelter. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure they have proper outdoor housing. A good cold weather house should have a sloping roof, insulation and possibly even a prefabricated (or expertly installed) heater. Keeping your dog outdoors should only be considered if they are a hearty breed and used to the cold. 
- Be sure to seal any cracks and ensure proper insulation.
- Keep bedding at least 3 inches off the floor. Another great way to keep your older dog warm and healthy is to make sure they have somewhere comfortable to lay down, at least three inches away from the cold floor. Use a thick dog bed, or cover it with additional blankets to lift it up. 
- Give a hot water bottle. If your older dog is still chilly, you may want to provide them with a hot water bottle to hug. You will find these at most pharmacies. Just fill the bottle with warm water and put it in your dog's bed. 
[ Edit ] Keeping Your Dog's Body Healthy
- The groom your dog. You will want to avoid cutting or shaving your dog's coat during the winter months, as their full coat is a good source of warmth and protection. Instead, it is important to keep your dog's clothing brushed, trimmed and free of tangles. Carpet coat is less effective when it comes to keeping your dog warm. 
- Brush your dog's coat daily to remove tangles.
- Consider taking them to a professional groomer, but be sure to declare that you want their fur to remain.
- Keep the fur around the paws trimmed. The coat on your dog's paws can catch ice, which makes your older dog cold and uncomfortable. Also, excess fur on the paws can make it easier for your dog to slip. 
- Hold your dog's paw with one hand and use a sharp scissors to trim away all the fur that covers the foot pads.
- You may also consider doing this by a professional groomer.
- Watch out for frost damage. Frostbite is a common occurrence, especially in small dogs. Frost damage can easily be treated if diagnosed immediately, so keep an eye out for symptoms. 
- The first degree of frost damage can be easy to miss. Look for pale skin on the dog's extremities (such as ears, lips, tail, face and feet). This skin may also feel cold when touched. When the affected skin warms up, it can look red, swollen and painful to the touch.
- Second degree frost damage involves the development of skin blisters.
- Third-degree frostbite (the most serious) will involve your dog's skin turning black or dark blue. You will see a clear difference between frostbite and undamaged skin.
- Immediately seek medical advice if you recognize signs of frostbite in your dog.
- Pay attention to existing plagues. Existing ailments, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and others, can be exacerbated by the cold. If your older dog has been diagnosed with any of these, talk to your veterinarian about any additional medications or treatments you should give. 
- Watch out for symptoms of pain, such as limping, lying more than usual or helping with touch.
- Talk to your veterinarian to discuss symptoms and treatment options.
[ Edit ] References
Edit ] Quick overview
- [1945 http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/keeping -your-dog-healthy / health-safety / 10-ways-to-keep-your-pet-warm-this-winter
- ↑ http://www.today.com/id/22989948/# .WBZgMeErJE4
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- ↑ http://www.today.com/id/22989948/#.WBZgMeErJE4
- [1945 http://www.petplace.com / article / dogs / keeping-your-dog-healthy / health-safety / 10-ways-to-keep-your-pet-warm-this-winter
- [1945 http: //www.petplace. com / article / dogs / keeping-your-dog-healthy / health-safety / 10-ways-to-keep-your-pet-warm-this-winter
- [1945 http: //www.petplace .com / article / dogs / keeping-your-dog-healthy / health-safety / 10-ways-to-keep-your-pet-warm-this-winter
- ↑ http://www.today .com / id / 22989948 / #. WBZgMeErJE4
- ↑ http://www.today.com/id/22989948/#.WBZgMeErJE4
- ↑ https://www.southernstates.com /articles/treating-frost-bite-in-dogs.aspx
- ↑ http://www.mydogspace.com/older -dog-ailments /